Life in the Church: Serve and Pray

One of my greatest blessings is being part of the church, specifically, my home church.  When my husband and I began attending almost 14 years ago, we were treated as family from day one.  Each time we walked through those doors, we felt welcomed and were loved on by so many people.  Our church has encouraged us through the birth of children and  the loss of miscarriage. They have supported us during times of transition and separation when my husband began his military career and when he served overseas.  They have provided meals for us, as well as gifts of appreciation.  Our church has prayed for us and shown us God’s love.

 

There’s also a smaller part of our church that is dear to my heart: my Sunday School class.  My former pastor’s wife (my forever friend), began this class for those of us that were just beginning our Christian walk.  As time passed, the make up of the class changed.  What once started as a young couples/parents class is now a women’s class made up of married and single women. In the past year, I’ve witnessed an amazing transformation in these women.  They are growing in their walk with Christ and serving Him in amazing ways.

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I am seeing this transformation in other areas of our church, not just within the four walls of our Sunday School class.  Our husbands are growing. Our children are growing.  Lives are being changed each and every day.  Why?

 

Because of the prayers of the righteous.

 

God listens to us as we pray.  When we pray for His will to be done, He answers those prayers.  My home church is a praying church.  These people don’t just say, “I will pray for you.” They do it.  In my roles as a Sunday School teacher, friend, and pastor’s wife, I feel their prayers. I feel God working in my life and those around me.

 

As Christians, prayer is such an important part of our lives.  Without it, we won’t know the will of God. Without it, we won’t be able to grow in our faith. Without it, we won’t recognize His blessings and the grace and mercy that comes only from Him.

 

Through prayer, God changes us. He reveals himself to us. Through prayer, we are able to serve Him and His church in amazing ways.

 

We seem to make prayer so very difficult.  We claim we don’t have time. We claim we don’t know how.  We claim we don’t know what to say. But God is so awesome that His Word tells us some important things about prayer.

 

Scripture tells us HOW to pray.  In Matthew 6:9-13, Jesus tells us, “Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” We should, first and foremost, acknowledge God and who He is.  Next, we should ask for His will to be done. Likewise, we must ask God to give us no more than we need, to be satisfied with His grace for each day. We must also confess our sins to Him and ask Him to help us offer forgiveness to those around us.  Lastly, we should ask for His guidance in our lives, for Him to help us make choices that bring Him honor and glory.

 

What about when the words just won’t come? Maybe we don’t know the specific need?  Maybe the song All That I Can Say is, well, all that we can say? Well, Scripture has something to say about that too. Romans 8:26 says, “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” God knows what is in our hearts, and when we cry out to Him, no matter how jumbled our words are, He knows and He hears. And He answers.

 

Lastly, I think our biggest problem, our biggest excuse is time.  We claim we don’t have time for prayer and bible study and service.  But I ask you, “What are you doing?”  Are you reading books for your 52 Books in 52 Weeks Reading Challenge?  Are you checking out Pinterest for the latest trends in fashion, fitness, and home decorating?  Are you stalking Facebook and Instagram?  Are you “vegged out” on the couch in the middle of a Netflix binge?  I’ll admit that I spend a lot of time on technology…..wasted time.  I’ll admit that I struggle to find the balance between reading for fun and reading my bible.  I’ll admit that some days, all I want to do is curl up on the couch for a 90210 marathon.  Yet, I can still make time to pray.  See, the amazing thing about prayer is, well, you just do it.  Prayer is simply a conversation between us and God.  If it’s something we struggle with, we start out small and grow.  We make prayer a habit so that it becomes more than a bedtime or mealtime activity, but you find yourself going to God throughout the day, giving thanks and asking for guidance.  It becomes something you crave.

 

So, thankfully, our excuses can be tossed to the side.  We no longer have to be a slave to them, but we can grow in our relationship with God.  And if you still struggle or want to know more, search scripture.  It’s full of God’s view on prayer.

 

And you know what?  When we pray and we are in tune with God, amazing things start to happen.  We see His wonderful workings in our lives and the lives of others.  We are able to serve Him and His church.  And we get that taste of Him. We see that He is good and want more and more.  As we grow in Him through prayer and service, His church grows, and our world changes.

 

So, are you ready?  Are you ready to jump-start your prayer life?  I’m here for you friend.  And I have some tools to help you.

 

Previously, I posted this printable. Its a scripture writing plan about prayer.  I encourage you to print it, screen shot it, whatever works, and use it.  Let God’s Word about prayer speak to you.

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40 Day Scripture Writing Plan

And for this month, I’ve created a Prayer Calendar.  Each day for the month of May, I’ve listed a prayer request for you to take before the Lord.  Use this to pray for your church and watch to see God at work. Although, this was made specifically for my church, you can make it relevant for your church as well.

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May Prayer Calendar

Prayer is such a beautiful gift from God.  What a privilege to carry our worries and our joys to Him! And I pray for you, friend, that your prayer life will grow and you will see the goodness of God.

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